Pakistan v England Fourth ODI Betting: Hosts remain friendless

James Taylor batted superbly
James Taylor batted superbly

Pakistan have let down their series backers with a typically shambolic performance. Can we expect more of the same from them in Dubai on Friday? Ed Hawkins analyses the contest...

"It would be reasonable to expect the game to follow a similar pattern to the third match. That means that at some stage the odds will flip-flop so a back-to-lay of Pakistan should pay off"

Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay Pakistan at 2.245/4 to 1.84/5

Pakistan v England
Start time: 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports


Pakistan produced a shambolic performance in game three in Sharjah to compound their reputation as a side not to be trusted. The manner of the six-wicket loss was exactly the reason why they were poor value to claim the series and one must feel sorry for those who thought they would do the business against an inexperienced England side.

They conjured three run outs, three dropped catches and a missed stumping. Chaotic doesn't quite cover it. There was the obligatory collapse, too. Really, they should get the trademark.

From a position of strength at 132 for two, they were bowled out for 208. Mohammad Hafeez appeared to be the one pillar with 45 but he started the rot by running out Azhar Ali.

Yasir Shah, the legspinner, was left out in favour of Zafar Goha. There was still no room for Ahmed Shehzad, the opener. But it seems irrelevant whoever they pick because the attitude of the team left a lot to be desired.


England will credit themselves with a job well done. They clawed their way back into the game twice to take a lead in the series and they will surely expect to finish the job.

The unbeaten 67 from James Taylor was the highlight. He showed great skill to work the ball into gaps on a turning wicket. Jos Buttler's return to form with 49 should not be sniffed at, either. England have been desperate for him to do well.

With the ball, David Willey, Reece Topley and Chris Woakes all bowled with accuracy and variety. It was once the case England would turn up for ODI with three right-arm pace bowlers who did exactly the same thing with the ball. Not any more.

First-innings runs

The last ten first-innings scores at Dubai (most recent first) read: 246-216-180-246-215-284-209-237-222-257. That is an average of 231. There has been only one score of 300 or more in the ground's entire ODI history - 17 matches since 2009. And if you had the gumption to lay to 250 or more in each of those games, you would have won 13 times. It would be folly to suddenly expect a run glut.

Match odds

Pakistan are 2.245/4 and England 1.84/5. Before the third ODI we expressed surprise that England were favourites. But obviously there were some big-walleted shrewdies out there who knew that all was not well in the Pakistan camp.

It is rare indeed that England should be jollies to win an ODI away from home against one of the three Asian powerhouses. Even if the series is level or they are a game to the good.

You would surely not need more than one hand to count the number of occasions it has occurred in the last 20 years. For that reason it is hard to consider them value. As a rule, we only bet when a price is wrong and we still can't fairly work out why the odds are this way.

That does not make Pakistan the bet. When they are playing fast and loose we do not have the stomach to bet. And the most sage advice is to leave the game alone.

Still if you must play, it would be reasonable to expect the game to follow a similar pattern to the third match. That means that at some stage the odds will flip-flop so a back-to-lay of Pakistan should pay off.

There is a toss bias. Eleven of the 16 day-night affairs have been won by the side batting second. Don't get too caught up on that. In Sharjah history heavily favoured the side batting first and look what happened there.

Top Pakistan runscorer

Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper who batted at No 4 in Sharjah, top scored with 65 on this ground against Australia last year. He was opening, however. Shehzad hit a century and a fifty in the two preceding games. The pair are 8.415/2 and 5.24/1 respectively.

Top England runscorer

England won comfortably at this ground twice in 2012 thanks to runs from Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook. With those two offering such differing styles it is hard to say that the wicket will suit anyone in particular this time. Taylor is 6.05/1 for a repeat.

Recommended Bet

Back-to-lay Pakistan at 2.245/4 to 1.84/5

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£358.80
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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